Monday, February 16th, 7:20 pm.
After a long day at work, my roommate had asked me to pick up dog food. I made a brief trip to petco to browse and see if they carried our brand of dog food. They did not. So I turned around and headed for Walmart. After searching all over the Walmart, whose layout I was unfamiliar with, I managed to find the dog food section. By this time I was literally limping, due to a bad ankle being exacerbated by a 10 hour day of standing and moving in all of our outside plants to keep from losing them to frost which would hit later that evening.
It was late and I was finally walking out of Walmart after buying the dog food. The cold front had dropped the temperature to 35 degrees F and it was raining so I was almost running to get back to my car in the dark. I was hugging the 50lb bag of dog food and thus was not looking where I was going. Seconds later, I was tripping over something that clattered away with the sound of plastic, since I had kicked it when I tripped.
Much to my horror, a little plastic betta cup was rolling away, sloshing water everywhere. Shouldering the dog food, I rushed to go pick it up, somewhat hoping that there wasn't a fish in there. To my dismay, I was wrong. From what I could see in the cup, there was a male veiltail with a large divot missing from his tail and his dorsal and ventrals eaten up by rot. The water was half gone from me kicking the poor thing and he barely had room to swim. He was pale and I quickly took him with me to avoid him freezing overnight. I worried over him for the next several hours, slowly letting him acclimate to 82 degree water. Feeling bad about the tiny amount of water in the cup, I slowly added water to the cup as well letting him adjust before adding more.
I finally let him out, but had to go to bed soon after and didn't look at his colors.
Tuesday, February 17th, 6:25 a.m.
I turned on the lights to my tanks and went to work shortly after checking to make sure my little rescue was still alive, but still didn't pay much attention to the colors as he was still very pale, having just been woken up and being extremely timid.
Exhausted from a 12 hour shift, I collapsed into bed after limping inside and shutting off all my lights. Rescue boy goes almost completely unnoticed from being absolutely worn out and hurting.
Wednesday, February 18th, 6:30 am.
Running slightly late, I hastily peek in to the tank as I rush to turn on lights. The rescue, which had been named Faust, is peeking back. He had finally colored up and much to my surprise, the brown and grey fish I had picked up in a Walmart parking lot had turned into a blue and yellow bicolor with dalmatian spots on his fins. I was dumbfounded but had to run to work, so couldn't pause too much on the findings.
I returned home limping and in pain but eager to go see Faust. I dropped some food in and giggled at his antics. He didn't let a single crumb escape him. Feeding my other guys, I laid back down to watch him before resigning to sleep several hours later.
Faust and the other boys received a wholesome meal of a food variety mix I make occasionally. Flightless fruit flies are dropped in with a tiny bit of Ocean nutrition Formula One. Faust is a spazz and incredibly inquisitive. So far he shows no external signs of illness or damage to internal systems. I am incredibly excited to see him recover.